For me, the end of a year is a time to make a personal inventory:
How am I living my life? Where am I at? How am I caring for my physical, mental, social, and spiritual needs?
Looking back at 2023, we may have many questions about what is ahead. Questions related to our personal lives, our professional lives, our church, our countries, and the world community. On these various levels of my reality, I’m optimistic about some things but also worried and deeply concerned about others.
It’s especially painful to watch the instability, unrest, tensions, conflicts, and wars playing out around the world. In this turmoil, where do we find God’s love and goodness?
Rest: Often, we rest to recover rather than rest to be ready. We minimize rest and maximize activity. In God’s created order, night precedes day. Rest comes first, and then our activities may be fruitful. Nightly rest and weekly Sabbath rest are God’s gifts to us. Rest is good.
Relationships: God gave us His created world—a world of nature, animals, people, and ultimately Himself. Life is about relationships. Even more important than what we do, is who we do it with and for. We need daily and weekly quality time in nature, in fellowship with and service for others, and in God’s loving arms. Loving relationships are good.
Creativeness: On the foundation of rest and relationships, we are called to be co-creators with God. When God creates, what He creates is good. When He destroys, what He destroys is evil. Likewise, we should seek through his guidance and power to co-create good things in this world and stand up against its evils. Our world needs more goodness. Let’s be part of God’s creative goodness and share it liberally wherever we are.
May God empower and bless your rest, relationships, and creativeness in 2024.